Another top boss of the Oficina de Envigado, considered one of the most powerful criminal organizations in Colombia, has been released from prison and put on house arrest over the weekend.
A judge from Valledupar, a city in northeastern Colombia, announced this weekend that the request of Freyner Alfonso Garcia Ramirez, alias “Carlos Pesebre” to change his prison sentence to house arrest will be granted.
Pesebre is one of the leaders of the notorious Oficina de Envigado paramilitary organization, dedicated to drug-trafficking, extortion, money laundering and contract killing. The Oficina is named after the municipality of Envigado in the south of Medellin were it was born.
On the request of the defense, the judge granted Pesebre house arrest explaining that the subject is “the head of a family and jurisprudence must ensure the protection of children.” This means that the kingpin, sentenced to nine years of prison for criminal conspiracy, will walk out of jail on December 9 and spend the upcoming Christmas at home.
Pesebre is the third high-ranked member of the same organization to receive such benefit in recent years. Hernan Giraldo Gaviria, alias “Cesarin” was put on home detention in 2013, only to flee a few weeks later. Same happened with Carlos Hernandez Ossa, alias ‘Duncan’ in 2010. Although Cesarin was captured soon thereafter, the whereabouts of Duncan remain unknown until today.
The Medellin city government said the decision made by the judge was a “mockery of justice.”
“This ruling leaves Medellin disheartened and it sends a negative message to the city,” commented Medellin Public Security Secretary Sergio Vargas.
Vargas admitted that although the city administration respects the decision made by the justice system, it doesn’t agree with it.
The deputy Mayor Luis Fernando Suarez complained on Twitter that “the great efforts of the authorities of Medellin go down the drain when judges let the criminals go,” before adding that such rulings considerably weaken the national institutions and public confidence in them.
Pesebre was captured in March 2013 in a luxurious hotel in Urrao, a township west of Medellin. The operation was made possible thanks to the arrest of the boss of Oficina de Envigado, alias “Sebastian,” in August 2012.